Hadiza Muhammad Sani, popularly known as Hadiza Kabara, is a veteran Kannywood actress who has been in the industry for over two decades. In this interview with Weekend Magazine, she talks about how much Kannywood has evolved. After a hiatus, she’s picked up roles in blockbuster series Gidan Badamasi and Dadin Kowa.
How did you start your acting career?
I think it was in 1998. At that time, stage drama was still in existence, but I was lucky I got straight into movies. And I can say it was my destiny. I like watching Hausa movies, especially from Sarauniya Productions. I was in secondary school then, so after school we’ll come back and watch Hausa movies all day. It was from watching the movies that I started developing interest. I remember my best movie then was ‘Allura da zare’ so I think late Auwal Sabo and Sarauniya Movies Production played a major role in my (developing) interest in acting.
Somehow, I started going to movie locations to watch them shooting movies live. But I was just going there to watch them not to act, but as Allah wants it, I later started acting.
I can’t remember the name of my first movie up till today because it didn’t come out due to some reasons best known to the producers. However, the movie that made me popular was ‘Nagari’.
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Things have changed a lot in Kannywood unlike during your time. Do you think you’ll still be relevant and how do you blend in?
Movies are movies. There are differences indeed, but once you are an actor, then you should be able to blend quickly into whatever role or position you find yourself.
Meanwhile, my colleagues, especially the director of Gidan Badamasi, Falalu Dorayi and other actors welcomed me well. They’ve been very accommodating. So, with their help, I was able to blend in without hassles. I have featured in many blockbuster movies since my return and many producers are coming for me.
On the issue of being relevant, I think if you’re good at what you’re doing, producers will definitely come for you. The movies I’ve done so far, since my return, is a testament to that fact.
In Gidan Badamasi, you are very hot tempered and aggressive, is that your character in real life?
No! I am very simple and easy going. You know as a good actor; you should try as much as you can to accurately interpret the character you are given. I have been acting for long, so blending into any character should not be a problem to me.
How can you compare films before and now?
First of all, we (actors/actresses) were not that much then. Also, we are not as popular as now, obviously due to the advent of social media. And in those days, we didn’t even have mobile phones, so if a producer wanted to cast you in his film, he must come to your house, seek your parents’ consent and take you to the location.
On the films themselves, we are now in the era of sophisticated technologies. I think the actors of this era cannot be as patient as we were in those days. A lot of things were done manually and it took a lot of time. But now, from the script to shooting, equipment, editing and many more, they’re all different from what we used to know. Things are easier now.
The movie that made very popular was ‘Nagari’ but when I came back, many people were surprised and were asking if I’m really the Hadiza Kabara they knew before seeing me in ‘Gidan Badamasi’. Gidan Badamasi has reached more people and is still reaching more. Now, people know me more with the ‘Gidan Badamasi’ role than all my other movies.
Due to lack of market in Kannywood, producers are now rushing to YouTube, do you think that has affected the industry negatively?
I don’t think so. It’s a new development, and whenever the world changes, it’s either you follow suit or you’re left behind.
If you insist on producing your movies on CD, who will buy them? And nowadays people are too busy to be watching films on CD. Some people now watch films on their phones at their places of work. It’s easier. It was CD some years back, now we are talking about YouTube and we don’t know what tomorrow will bring.
You were one of the best as a young actress, you married and went off. After a long break, you came back, are you now fulfilled?
I can only thank God for his infinite mercies. I am proud of Kannywood. I can say I am one of the people that God blessed through Kannywood. I can’t even mention the blessings. I am who I am today because of Hausa film. I know many people and I’ve gotten many things that you can’t imagine. I thank God.
Do you have any regrets, either the first time or now that you’re back?
I don’t have any regrets. I am happy that I came back. And you can only come back to what you were doing if you enjoyed it in the first place. So, no regrets.
When are you planning to retire?
If the time comes for me to get married again, I’ll marry and settle down with my husband. I don’t have a specific time, but I’m sure it will come.
What are the challenges?
In anything you do, there are challenges. It’s just for you to be ready to accept and fight them. There are some personal challenges, but I don’t think I have one specific thing to mention.
Any advice to fans and upcoming actors?
Our fans should always pray for us and wish us well. We are humans and we are not perfect. And to my colleagues, we should respect ourselves and respect our industry.